Thursday, September 29, 2016

Jurassic Bling

Size did matter:
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that theropods that developed ornaments on their heads evolved to gigantic body sizes 20 times faster than those that didn’t, and that 20 of the 22 largest theropod species, like T. Rex and Allosaurus, had them.

Researchers Terry Gates and Lindsay Zanno suspect the ornaments served as socio-sexual display mechanisms the dinosaurs would use to signal their mating, territory and defense intentions.

Gates and Zanno examined the fossils of 111 ornamented and unornamented theropods and determined that those weighing under 80 pounds did not develop head ornaments, but 20 of 22 above that threshold did.

"We were surprised to find such a strong relationship between ornaments and huge body size in theropods," Gates said. "Something about their world clearly favored bling and big bods."
Dinosaurs keeping it real?

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